A commercial Cygnus cargo freighter packed with 3.8 tons of medical and pharmaceutical experiments, technology demonstration hardware, CubeSats and crew provisions rode an Antares rocket into orbit from Virginia’s Eastern Shore on Wednesday afternoon on the first leg of a day-and-a-half journey to the International Space Station.
A day-and-a-half after launching from Virginia aboard an Antares rocket, a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship loaded with nearly 7,600 pounds of experiments and provisions arrived at the International Space Station on Friday. Astronaut Anne McClain captured the Cygnus spacecraft with the space station’s Canadian-built robotic arm at 5:28 a.m. EDT (0928 GMT).
The next Cygnus resupply mission to the International Space Station set for liftoff Wednesday from Virginia’s Eastern Shore will introduce new capabilities for the commercial cargo freighter, including a longer operating life enabled by fuel-saving gyroscopes to support an extended mission months after the spacecraft departs the International Space Station, Northrop Grumman officials said.
Northrop Grumman is gearing up for up to four launches this year at Wallops Island, Virginia, including two launches with Cygnus cargo ships heading to the International Space Station, and a pair of Minotaur rocket flights carrying classified payloads into orbit for the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency.
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo carrier climbed into orbit Saturday from Wallops Island, Virginia, in pursuit of the International Space Station with more than 7,200 pounds of research hardware and provisions, the second supply ship launch to the space station in less than 24 hours.